Ocarina of Time definitely had its disturbing moments. Fans of the game will surely remember the Skulltulas, creepy Wallmasters, and the general unease of the well and the Shadow Temple. The darkness within that iconic title was more subtle than the next entry in the series, though.
Set in the surreal land of Termina, Majora’s Mask touches on a surprisingly high number of mature and heavy themes, including — but not limited to — grief, loss, and a sense of despair. It features a tense 3-day play cycle, a mask-possessed child villain, and impending doom, courtesy of an extremely sinister moon with a haunting face.
All these elements easily make Majora’s Mask one of the most absurd and impactful Zelda games. While not quite as successful as its predecessor, that was a standard almost impossible to beat. And the fact it was developed in a quarter of the time Ocarina of Time was is a truly impressive feat.
The use of a time limit was quite innovative for the era, and undoubtedly helped the game lend itself well to speedrunning challenges. Today, we’re going to showcase one of the best Majora’s Mask speedruns and see what makes it so great.
What Exactly Are Speedruns?
Usually, gamers like to play through a title at their own pace, enjoying the game’s design and narrative elements, and immersing themselves in the mechanics. Speedrunners, however, challenge themselves to blast their way through at lightning speeds, often competing with each other for a world record.
Deep familiarity with the game is still required, however, as exploiting bugs and gameplay quirks is crucial for a competitive run. Runs can be done with certain rules in place, such as allowing or forbidding the use of glitches.
Amounts of completion are another way to guide a run, ranging from minimal completion (low% runs) and variable completion (any% runs) all the way to full completion (100% runs). Speedruns, these days, often attract a large audience, especially on sites such as YouTube and Twitch. There’s a lot of adrenaline-fueled entertainment to be had for the audience and the gamer.
Overview of the Speedrun
This speedrun is courtesy of TrevPerson, an avid speedrunner focusing on Majora’s Mask, as well as the Pokemon series. The run in question is the current world record for the 100% glitchless category. Simply, this is a type of speedrun where every aspect of the game must be explored and completed.
Every item is collected and every sidequest is completed. There’s a substantial number of quests within Majora’s Mask, with most seeming fairly counterintuitive, so this is no easy task.
Glitches are also forbidden, which adds another level of difficulty since no bugs can be exploited to speed up the gameplay. You can check out TrevPerson’s speedrunning on his YouTube and Twitch profiles.
Majora’s Mask Speedrun by TrevPerson: Highlights
Next, let’s get into the most memorable moments of this particular run:
- He beats his previous record by 8 minutes
- Saves around 50 seconds in Snowhead Temple by pressing the switch without melting the ice
- Personal bests achieved for Stone Tower Temple, Adult’s Wallet, Bunny Hood, and Deku Playground 2 splits
- Virtually perfect split for Odolwa’s boss fight
Overall, this is an amazing run, and it’s easy to see why it’s the current world record for the category. There are many personal bests achieved throughout, and the fight inside the Woodfall Temple basically couldn’t have gone any better.
Ending a boss fight in 6 seconds is virtually unheard of, especially to the casual gamer. It’s extremely difficult to maintain a competitive edge during any speedrun, particularly during this type. A longer run naturally opens itself up to more possibilities of making a wrong step, so the outcome here is seriously impressive.
What Mistakes Were Made?
All in all, there aren’t too many mistakes that stand out during this run, which is amazing since a 100% glitchless run takes a substantial amount of time to complete. However, there are a few areas that have room for improvement:
- 00:51:26 — TrevPerson falls off a ledge, losing a few seconds and risking his hot spring water cooling down prematurely
- 1:02:13 — He misses a platform jump
- 2:38:32 — First hookshot attempt misses the torch
- 4:22:33 — He accidentally falls off a platform during a cutscene
While these mistakes are present, they may be a good thing. This is because there’s potential for TrevPerson to cut his play time down even further.
He could beat his own record and any potential gamer that might overtake him in the interim. There isn’t much to fault in this run, and there’s a good chance this record will stand for a while longer.
History of Majora’s Mask Speedruns
Naturally, when Majora’s Mask speedrunning began, gamers were wondering how they could complete the game in the shortest number of day cycles possible. While you can infinitely revert time back to the 1st day, this leads to losing certain items and undoing specific actions. Therefore, this isn’t optimal for a speedrun.
Complete speedruns of the game wouldn’t occur until 2005, when TSA uploaded some of his runs. However, he was shown to have cheated in various other titles, so these runs became viewed under much suspicion.
In 2008, the backward glitch was discovered, which allows Link to move much faster than usual. Many skips were found by players in the following years, particularly by Mr Grunz in 2009.
It took a while for players to figure out an optimal route through the fairly non-linear game. But it was decided that obtaining the Goron Mask first was the best way. Most glitches had been discovered by 2009, but players found a new glitch in 2018, allowing them to shave more time off their any% runs.
Despite not reaching the same heights of success as the original N64 title, Majora’s Mask still left a lasting mark. This is especially true for the speedrunning community. The time-restrained gameplay mechanics and complex progression add a lot of challenges and fun to the run.
The game continues to be a popular choice. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve had a speedrun under 6 minutes. A run under 5 minutes might be on the cards, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©J. Papagoda Photo/Shutterstock.com.